The 2004 LaSalle Bank building fire inspired Chicago Fire Department’s
Michael Wielgat to develop the HERO Pipe, which earned a special “visionary”
Citation in the 2009 Chicago Innovation Awards. He continued to develop the
system with Elkhart Brass, which obtained the rights in 2011 and hired Wielgat
as product director. The HERO Pipe System has earned respect from those on
the front lines, such as when The Fire Department of New York ordered four for their special rescue units. For more information, contact: Mike Wielgat Caption, Chicago Fire Department President of Hero Systems, Inc.
High-rise fires present incredible challenges for firefighters while threatening the safety of both civilians and firefighters alike. Previously, fires located above a high-rise’s 12th floor required firefighters to battle the fire either directly on the floor of the fire or from an adjacent building if possible. The HERO Pipe has introduced a new technology specially designed for the fires that ladder companies can’t reach. With the HERO Pipe, fire departments can effectively battle a blaze from the floor below the fire, keeping fire teams at a safe distance from the fire’s most dangerous areas. The HERO Pipe has won the accolades of firefighters nationwide as well as the attention of the Department of Homeland Security; all of whom recognize this innovation as a powerful tool that will greatly improve fire departments’ ability to combat high-rise blazes while keeping their men and women safe. The largest fire department in the world, the New York Fire Department was the first city to buy and use HeroPipe to protect its citizens, attesting tot he credibility of the HERO Pipe system.